As a small business owner, you’re probably used to doing as much as you can yourself. However, when it comes to your technology and protecting your data, it really needs to be handled by experts who not only understand the complexities that business technology can come with, but also how to fundamentally keep it secure.
Small Detroit Businesses are at Risk
One of the long-running myths regarding cybersecurity risk is that smaller businesses aren’t targets. Unfortunately, it’s actually the opposite; more often than not, small to medium-sized businesses are being targeted. As a small business owner, your data is still valuable, and you likely don’t have the same level of protection that a Fortune 500 company would. Disrupting your business can be lucrative for a cybercriminal.
On top of that, it’s often not personal. You might ask yourself who would hold a grudge against your business with enough fervor to break into the network and cause trouble. The thing is, a lot of these attacks are cast out like a huge net to see who gets caught. Again, it’s nothing personal—often your business is getting the same or a similar attack that other businesses are getting. The cybercriminal is playing a numbers game, not unlike marketing. If you send a flier to enough homes, some people will eventually check out your promotion. If a cybercriminal sends enough scammy phishing emails to millions of business inboxes, eventually someone is going to fall for the bait.
We provide a wide range of services that can help protect a smaller business’ data while retaining an affordable price point. Data security is essential to your business’ long-term survival, and all companies, regardless of size, should invest in the resources to protect their data. Unfortunately, smaller businesses don’t have access to the level of professional services to ensure their data is secure. Our managed IT services provide cost-effective solutions to the four most common questions businesses have regarding cybersecurity.
What Is Social Engineering?
Social engineering is essentially the digital version of a scam artist’s con. The most common type of social engineering to this date involves phishing attacks. Phishing attacks are communications that seem legitimate, but aren’t. These tactics include using email to trick a team member into responding and providing their credentials, using websites to encourage a team member to download a compromised file, or even calling a team member directly.
An effective method to reduce exposure is investing in spam and content filtering, which prevent bad actors from gaining a foothold into your systems. In other words, by taking efforts to reduce spam and blatant email-based threats, you reduce your chances of falling for this type of attack.
One thing to consider is the importance of reducing the reach of a successful social engineering attack. A best practice to achieve this is limiting the access a team member has to sensitive information. Doing so prevents a bad actor from gaining deeper access to your data.
How Do Access Privileges Protect Your Data?
The simplest way to understand how access privileges work is by thinking of your data locked behind a door. The more keys you have that can open the door, the greater the chance that someone unauthorized will enter the room. Access privileges reduce the number of keys to the bare minimum and only provide them to people who have a reason to enter the room and not to people who may have a reason.
When it comes to assigning access privileges, the first question you need to ask is who needs access and why. A common mistake smaller businesses make is trading convenience for security and giving team members access to sensitive information regardless of their needs. This unfettered access to data is what cybercriminals hope for and why they attack your team with phishing attempts, hoping that by doing so, they will gain access to your sensitive data. You won’t notice it because everyone has access to it.
These days, it’s best to treat your data a lot like a secret government spy agency would from a classic spy film. Only grant a user access to the information they need. If your receptionist can access financial information, or your sales team can access sensitive HR documents, you’ve already put yourself in a position for data to get leaked, misused, or even stolen.
Why is Backup and Recovery Essential?
The last thing a cybercriminal wants is for you to be able to nullify them by restoring a backup. Some modern types of malware could find their way onto consumer-level backup solutions, and often businesses don’t keep up on their backups enough for them to really be all that effective when they really need them.
Your backup is your hail mary to protect your business from a cybercriminal’s demands. Without it, you have no choice but to either pay the ransom or lose your data. If your backup is simply a consumer-based solution that isn’t automated and isn’t storing your data securely in an off-site location, it really doesn’t meet the requirements for business continuity.
Our solution is called Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) and it is the only backup solution that totally hits every mark to protect a business. It’s the same system (just scaled down) that big enterprises use.
Customized, automated backup – Our clients control all data they back up, selecting what data needs to be protected so our technicians can devise a solution to fit their needs. This helps keep costs low, enabling them to back up select data or their entire storage if they choose. Backups are done automatically throughout the day.
Onsite and Offsite storage – If a major disaster were to happen within your building, losing your data is the last thing you want on top of that. If your server were to go down, an onsite backup system will be your lifeline, but what if the disaster also takes out your backup system?
This happens in major disasters like fires, floods, lightning strikes, brownouts, and more. Storing an archive of all of your data offsite, and being able to quickly replicate it and access it means your business won’t have to send everybody home for weeks just because a water main broke.
Rapid Recovery – Often overlooked during the buying process, recovery times are critical when it comes to a disaster. In the event of a hardware issue on a server, it could take days or weeks to get the parts needed to bring the server back online. If you are buying a whole new server, it could take hours or days just to migrate all of the data from a backup to the new server.
Our solution handles this differently. If needed, the backup device can act as a temporary server and perform all of the functions of your server in a pinch. It might not be as fast, but it can definitely be enough to keep the doors open while a replacement is underway.
Are You Invested in Training Your Team?
Your team is your biggest asset and your most significant security risk. There’s a reason why most cyberattacks focus on your team and not your technology. Your team can be fooled into exposing your data, while your technology usually can’t. Moreover, while your managed service provider can set up systems such as BDR and content filtering to protect your data, all it takes is a team member downloading an infected file to expose your system, regardless of the safeguards you have in place.
This is why you must train your team to recognize potential security risks and take the appropriate steps to prevent them from gaining access to your network. Your security is only as strong as your weakest link, and that’s your team. Now’s the time to give your team the training they need to be a benefit and not a hindrance to your data security.
Detroit Businesses; You are a Target for Cyberattacks Regardless Of Your Size
While it is common for small business owners to wear many hats, sometimes it makes sense to let go and allow someone else to take the lead. Cybercriminals are continuously evolving their method of attacks, and it should come as no surprise that the average business cannot keep up. When it comes to a ransomware attack, it can be too late to ask for help.
If you haven’t already been targeted, It’s only a matter of time before you will be. If you would like to learn more about training your employees on the best cybersecurity practices, developing effective spam and content filtering policies, and ensuring your data is securely backed up, contact us today at 248.545.0800.